USS Freedom Begins High Sea Adventure
Nation’s first Littoral Combat Ship departs San Diego on a 10-month deployment to Southeast Asia
The USS Freedom has spent the past year close to her home port. Now, the nation’s first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is ready to show the world what it can do.
Freedom sailed out of San Diego harbor March 1 as it began its inaugural deployment – a 10-month tour focusing on Southeast Asia. Built by a Lockheed Martin-led team, Freedom will prove out the LCS concept of operations in advance of the deployment of additional LCSs to the region.
“We are extremely happy and excited to head on out there and to be chosen to be the ones to do the inaugural deployment to Southeast Asia,” Commander Tim Wilke said.
Freedom and other LCSs will play a central role in the United States’ new defense strategy rolled out last year that places increased emphasis on the Pacific. Navy officials have said the multi-mission LCS will help the U.S. build relationships with the nation’s existing and potential allies.
During the deployment, Freedom will take part in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition (IMDEX) in Singapore, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training and multiple Theater Security Cooperation events.
Designed to defeat growing littoral threats, the LCS provides access and dominance in coastal waters. The Lockheed Martin team’s Freedom variant features a semi-planing, steel monohull that offers outstanding agility and high-speed maneuverability. The team includes naval architect Gibbs & Cox and shipbuilder Marinette Marine Corporation, a Fincantieri Company, as well as numerous domestic and international teammates.
In addition to building USS Freedom and the USS Fort Worth, which was commissioned in September, the Lockheed Martin team’s next three ships – the Milwaukee (LCS 5), Detroit (LCS 7) and Little Rock (9) – are currently under construction, with long-lead construction materials being procured for Sioux City (LCS 11). A contract award for LCS 13 and 15 is anticipated later this year.